Heartbleed essential info

Heartbleed has been dominating the technology news over the past week, so here is the How It Works guide to Heartbleed.

Open SSL is software used by a huge number of websites to encrypt data going from computers to servers.

Recently, it was discovered that there was a bug in the software that allowed hackers to steal ‘digital keys’ and access the information of the host computer or tablet. Hackers are able to get 64 kb of server memory per hack, but repeated hacks could gain them a lot of data, including passwords and usernames.

Sites that use Open SSL software will usually have a padlock in the bottom left hand corner of the screen or an https prefix, rather than http.

While not essential, it is recommended that you change the passwords of affected sites, although you are advised to wait until the website has emailed you with an all-clear, because changing your password while further hacking is still possible is fairly pointless.

Check your most visited websites’ blogs and press releases for more information. It is rare that you bank will use Open SSL, but it still might be worth checking with them.

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